Planet Fitness & Zombie Dust

Yesterday was a trying day. I had difficulty seeing the computer monitor, I felt tired and I was cold.

I managed to muddle through the work day. I’m not as productive as I want to be or need to be.


Planet Fitness

On a happy note, I made it to Planet Fitness for a second day. Wow. Two days in a row. I waited until the work day was over. I had some anxiety as I walked into the facility as it was packed full of people. Every treadmill, elliptical, stationary bicycle and most other machines were taken.

I don’t really want to wait for a treadmill. I could be walking or running outside instead of waiting. But, thankfully, a treadmill opened up once I walked out of the locker room.

But as I walked and ran (yes — I ran !!) I noticed the rotation of people completing their treadmill workout and walking away from a treadmill and then new people climbing aboard the same treadmill to start their workout was really swift and continuous. So, my fear of waiting hours for a treadmill to open up was unfounded.

I spent 60 minutes on the treadmill. During the 60 minutes, I worked through the C25K program, Week 1 Day 1. It was an interval workout consisting of running for 45 seconds and walking for 90 seconds and then running for 45 seconds and walking for 60 second. This sequence is repeated five times and sandwiched between 5 minutes of warm up and 5 minutes of cool down.

It was a good workout. Although, I am really, really, really out of shape because the few seconds of running were difficult.

After the treadmill, I did the stair machine for a hundred stairs and then some shoulder and chest work on the machine.

I was there for about ninety minutes.

Results of my treadmill workout at Planet Fitness on January 30, 2017.

Results of my treadmill workout at Planet Fitness on January 30, 2017.


Calories

I finished the day at 1,400 calories. I had the Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch and a large grilled chicken salad for dinner. No snacks but plenty of water.

Also, to celebrate my weight loss from last week, I had one Zombie Duct Pale Ale. And, oh, was it so good! I limited the drinking to just one beer last night. So, my total beer consumption for January 2017 was 5 bottles. In contrast, before I started this weight loss effort, my usual daily consumption is about 3-5 bottles daily.


Blood Pressure

Wow. I believe this morning’s blood pressure was the lowest I have ever seen it … 109/71 with a resting heart rate of 71.


Wishing everyone a great day!

Over The Weekend and a Weigh-In

184.6 pounds. Yay … weight loss. The month of January was good to me in regards to weight loss. 15.3 pounds in total.


Friday Night

I was worried about this morning’s weigh-in due to the Friday evening dinner where I slipped into a slight binge. For some reason, I ordered a plate of onion rings as an appetizer. Oh my, were they so good! For the meal, I ordered a small salad and a turkey wrap. Both were good. But, I regretted eating all that food.

Afterwards, I felt extremely stuffed. Uncomfortably stuffed, bloated, overweight. I have not felt that way since I started this weight loss effort.

We went to Chedders, a local chain restaurant. I would have believed a large dinner salad would have been on the menu and would have limited my selection to that. But I couldn’t find one. So I choose the small side salad and turkey wrap combo as it seemed the only reasonable thing to order if I wanted to stay under my calorie target.

It seems a mystery why I ordered the plate of onion rings?

In hind sight, I should have suggested that we have dinner at the local Steak N Shake, where I know they have a dinner salad.

My calories for Friday was 2,172. Well above my target of 1,610.


Saturday

There was sunshine mid morning on Saturday 1/28. Most of January has been dull, dark, gray, overcast. Hardly any sunshine. I thought that sunshine would make a hike at the Fort Harrison State Park a joy, so that is what I did. I hiked about 4 miles. It was a great time, in spite of the cold and the dark gray overcast which had hidden the sunshine that excited me to hike in the park in the first place.


A Week of Calories

  • Monday, 1/23 : 1,625
  • Tuesday, 1/24 : 1,040
  • Wednesday, 1/25 : 1,100
  • Thursday, 1/26 : 1,190
  • Friday, 1/27 : 2,172
  • Saturday, 1/28 : 1,508
  • Sunday, 1/29 : 1,225

My average daily calories was 1,408. That is about 200 calories under my target of 1,610. I was under the target on 5 days, with the lowest being Wednesday. The high was on Friday.

On Saturday evening, I felt a binge coming on. To counter the approaching binge, I carefully track a few snacks (popcorn and a protein drink) and just willed myself to stop eating when I hit the 1,508 mark, as I wanted to stay below the 1,610 target. The tracking helped to convince myself that I need to just stop eating that night.


Exercise

I exercised every day. Walked 21 miles over the week. Wow! I walked 4 miles on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Double wow. What a number.

Saturday I ‘hiked’ through the Fort Harrison State Park. On Sunday, I actually made it to Planet Fitness and walked 3 miles on the treadmill. I ended the workout with a blister on my right ankle. Very odd.

In addition to the walking, I had two workouts on the Max Trainer, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I would like to introduce some running into the exercise program. Hopefully I can do that this week.

 


Painting

In an effort to stay busy over the weekend so I would not overeat from boredom or inactivity, I built a 7.5′ x 4′ stretcher frame, stretched a painted canvas and hung it.

I had a painting that I completed in August 2016. I had rolled it up and almost forgot about it. So when I was looking for something to do on Saturday afternoon, I thought I would build a frame and stretch the painting.

Thankfully, there was enough canvas to hang on one of the walls in the dinning room, above the buffet. It was an empty wall and needed something on it.

After a quick trip to Lowes to buy the supplies, I had the frame built. It took a while to stretch the canvas as I am still new to this process and still learning from trial and error. I eventually got the painting stretch and was happy with it. I then hung it on the wall in the dinning room.

I was happy with the result.

There is some canvas left over from the original painting, enough for several smaller frames. I will work on those this week.

Untitled Painting

Untitled Painting … built the frame, stretched the canvas and hung it in dining room on Saturday, January 28, 2017.


Blood Pressure

This morning my blood pressure was 114/76 with a resting heart rate of 65. Could that be normal?


Happy week to everyone.

It’s Friday

Yesterday was a good day. I finished the day at 1,190 calories. Well below my 1,610 target. In fact, it was 420 calories below.

Right now, at this moment, I’m hungry. Usually, I’m not too hungry in the mornings but today is different. I hope that I’m not inducing any kind of starvation issues with these low-calorie days. I’ve read where the metabolism will shut down if you starve yourself. While I don’t think that I’m doing that, I still need to be aware of it.

Although, I will admit the less I eat the better I feel. Strange, isn’t it.


Exercise

Yesterday, I couldn’t do my walking exercise during lunch. So, I decided to do the walk immediately after work. The park with the fitness trail is about a mile and half from the office so it is extremely easy to get to.

It was windy and cold with some rain and snow. But I walked anyways. I walked for 77 minutes on the fitness path. MFP says that 77 minutes equates to 362 calories burned off. I walked four laps around the park which (they say) is a mile per lap. So, it was a 4 mile walk. I don’t really know the distance since I still don’t have a Fit Bit or Garmin.

At the end of the walk I was wiped out. So, it was a good walk whether it was truly four miles or a little under four miles.

But, while on the walk, I thought that I should do this more often. That is, exercise and work out immediately after I leave the office. Usually, I go home and do something mundane and then  exercise on the Max Trainer and/or walk around the neighborhood. That isn’t a bad strategy. And it’s probably just habit to go straight home after work.

After all, I did that for years, many years. I was always eager to get home to see the family and hug my wife.

But now, since that is all gone, I don’t know why I rush home after work. The house is usually empty and quiet. My oldest son still lives with me but he works a different shift so we hardly see each other.

My wife has been gone and with someone else for over two years. So I don’t know why I didn’t think about doing this back then, that is, exercising immediately after work. I could go to Planet Fitness on the bad weather days or to the park on good weather days.

But exercising immediately after work, at least yesterday, gave me an energetic lift. I’m sure it was something emotional and fleeting because it was a new experience. I was eager to leave work and exercise.


The Weekend

Whenever I’m on a weight loss program, I dread the weekend. There is time and opportunity to over eat and over drink. In contrast, the work week is usually busy enough to distract from taking the opportunities to over eat although it’s possible during the work week too.

Although I’ve been faithful to the program the three weekends so far in January, I still wonder how the weekend will pan out before it starts.

I usually make a list of things I need to do, things I want to do, things I need to buy. That keeps me busy. And, that is the key that I’ve discovered recently. Stay busy.

That phrase fits into my “Eat Less Move More” motto, which I’ve adopted for 2017 and which I’ve adhered to so far.


Random Photo

From a Life Is Good shirt.

From a Life Is Good shirt.

 

Feeling Better & A Benefit of Counting Calories

Thankfully, I’m feeling much better today.

My calories rang up to 1,100 for January 25, 2017. Which is on the low side of the 1,610 daily target. But, after a healthy portion of ‘home made’ grilled chicken salad for dinner at 720 calories, I went to bed. It was about 7:00pm.

I planned to eat a little more, to get my calories near the 1,610 target. But, after finishing the grilled chicken salad, I wasn’t hungry any longer. And, I was very tired, so I went to bed.


A Benefit of Calorie Counting

One of the benefits of calorie counting is that it limits my choices.

On the drive home from work, I pass more than a dozen restaurants, fast food, casual, expensive or otherwise. Some of these restaurants are favorites, like the Between the Bun gourmet hamburger shop that offers the best Mac & Cheese burger. I have probably eaten at all of these restaurants.

However, I know that stopping at any of these places will have a serious impact on my caloric limits. Even a grilled chicken salad from Bubba’s 33 or the Outback Steakhouse holds between 900 – 1,100 calories for me (estimated). The Bob Evans Cobb Salad with chicken is 1,250 calories (they say).

So, I drive by and go home where I can more closely monitor calories and my choices are limited.

I don’t mind. I’m actually thankful for the limits. “Stay in control” is the mantra. I don’t need to decide or debate when to eat tonight.

In contrast, when I was not counting calories, anything was a potential eating target. And, any restaurant was a potential stopping place. The Mac & Cheese burger from Between the Bun was always available. It was $12 of eating goodness and satisfying. Add in a couple of craft beers and it was amazing.

In times like that, there was no control, no planning, no consequence. Just eat and drink whatever, whenever, wherever.

But now, if I want to lose the weight, I will need to choose the salad and count calories. Occasionally I will indulge, maybe even stop at Between the Bun. However, now, I need to be focused on the limits and benefits that calorie counting offers me.


Exercise for January 25, 2017

I was able to walk about 4 miles on January 25. And, I spent 14 minutes on the Max Trainer. MFP says that this effort was worth about 499 calories.

I enjoy the walking. I listen to John MacArthur sermon and reflect on what he is saying. I enjoy the weather, even the dank and dingy overcast. Just being in motion can soothe my soul.

The Max Trainer is a different beast. It is very intense. It is like running on a treadmill, working out on an elliptical and a stair master all at the same time. Fourteen minutes on it is enough.

So far, I’ve walked 10 miles this week and spent 28 minutes on the Max Trainer.


A Non Scale Victory

I weigh in on Monday mornings. But, during the week I notice some weight related body chances that are worth mentioning.

This morning I put on a pair of size 36 pants. The last time I wore these pants was in October 2016. By then, I was too fat to wear them comfortably. I could squeeze into them but it wasn’t comfortable or pretty.

I tried them on this morning just to see if I could fit into them. And … I could. And I could in comfort. Yay !!

 

 

Another Day …

Yesterday, January 24, 2017 was a very active day. I walked 4 miles total (estimated – still need to get a Fit Bit or Garmin). I walked 2 miles during my lunch break and then 2 miles in the evening after work. Plus, I did 14 minutes on the Max Trainer.

MFP says that it was a 500 calorie exercise day. Wow.

And, I’m feeling the effects today. I’m dragging, tired, feeling spent, weak. I don’t know if it was all the exercise or the 1,040 calories I ate yesterday.

I had a Slim Fast for breakfast and lunch. I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner. Those meals rang up to 1,040 calories, which is far below the 1,610 target I aim for each day. It’s 570 calories below.

I saved calories on the grilled chicken salad by adding only 8 ounces of chicken instead of 12 ounces. I intended to save the calories so I could enjoy a bottle of Zombie Dust (at 190 calories) with dinner.

However, I didn’t enjoy the Zombie Dust. After dinner, I read for a few minutes and went to bed.


Blood Pressure

This morning, the blood pressure was 116/71 with a resting heart rate of 71. Wow. Normal. Yay. I believe the diastolic number one of the lowest I’ve seen (?) in recent years.


Tiny Homes –  Van Dwelling – RVing

There is talk in the office about Tiny Homes and Van Dwelling as if this was something just discovered.

I’ve known about van dwelling, full-time RVing and tiny homes for a while. For several years I’ve followed a few van dwellers and full-time RVers that have You Tube channels. It’s the kind of lifestyle I would like to live some time in my life.

However, I can’t do that just yet.

It is a hard lifestyle to do with a family, especially one with four kids and a dog so I couldn’t have done it when married with family. And, I can’t do it now due to the load of marital debt and student loans. I need to be employed full-time consistently to pay on the debt.

Some van dwellers or full-time RVers have a skill set that allows them to travel and work from the road. Some of them work in an IT, programming or web development field.

I work as a graphic artist and full stack web developer. So, maybe I do have the skill set to work on the road and van dwell or RV full-time. But right now it isn’t possible.

If I ever do it, I would like to do it as a thin man.

 

Zombie Dust and the Reality of Calorie Counting

A friend brought me two six packs of Zombie Dust.

Zombie Dust is a rugged pale ale brewed by the Three Floyds in Munster, Indiana. I’ve searched high and low for a bottle. The Dust is hard to come by. Never been able to grab one. Been close a few times. Went to the brewery to get a bottle but they were sold out. What !!?

Last night I had my first bottle.

It wasn’t quite orgasmic … but very close.

Of course, I wondered what the calories were in the bottle. How many floated in the pale ale? I looked up the calories in MFP. The listing estimated the calories at 190 calories per 100 ml. This web site estimates a bottle at 186 calories. I entered 190 calories in my day’s total.


The Reality of Calorie Counting

You never really know how my calories you are eating, do you?

I can look up every food, measure everything but still not know the exact calorie count. It is all an estimation.

Yet, when I estimate the calories, as in the bottle of Zombie Dust, even though slightly inaccurate, probably inaccurate, I know that it’s a close guess.

190 calories is a good estimate for Zombie Dust. One bottle at 190 calories is acceptable. Two bottles at 380 calories is ok in some circumstances. Three bottles at 570 is pushing the limit and four bottles at 760 calories has become a meal.

760 empty calories from the goodness of Zombie Dust in one episode is not acceptable if I want to get thin. Yet, not too long ago, that is how I drank beer.

So, the reality of calorie counting, although probably inaccurate to the ninth calorie, is that it leads to portion control, which leads to weight loss.

Zombie Dust ... estimated 190 calories per bottle.

Zombie Dust … estimated 190 calories per bottle.


Calories for Monday, January 23, 2017

My total calories for yesterday was 1,625. That is 15 calories over my target of 1,610. And, those 15 calories came from the bottle of Zombie Dust.


Photos

My ex-wife sends a text. She wants me to search for a photo taken in 2004 during our trip to Washington DC. During that trip I snapped a photo of her with the Washington Monument in the background. The photo was well exposed and sharp in focus. And, it was a great photo of her as she was at her lowest weight.

We were both on Weight Watchers at the time and lost significant amount weight, tracking points and exercising. She lost over 70 pounds and we almost got to our life time goals. She was so very pretty, and young, vibrant, cute, sexy. I miss those days.

Yet, life moves on. We went off Weight Watchers and gained back the weight. She fell in love with someone else and left.

She is now focused on losing weight and joined the local YMCA. She wanted a photo of her at her lowest weight so she could have a visual goal. She said she would hang the photo on the refrigerant to remind her of how she once looked. I wish her the best. I know it can happen.

I was at my lowest weight at that time as well. I believe it was about 140 pounds. I plan to get back ‘down there’. I didn’t enjoy looking at the photos of myself during that trip as it brought guilt for having gained the weight back.


Blood Pressure

I’ll close this post with my morning blood pressure reading … 116/82 with a resting heart rate of 71.

 

Some Progress

188.5

Yay. Lost a few pounds last week. I lost 11. 3 pounds since the New Year. If my calculations are correct my average is 3.76 pounds a week so far. This far exceeds my intent of a single pound a week on average until I reach my goal weight. However, I’m feeling great and doing well so I will take the weight loss even though I’m way ahead of schedule.

My BMI is 30.4. So, I’m still in the obese range. Still much work to be done but I’m happy with my progress so far.


Weekend

I had a two beers on Friday 1/20. I had one beer at an Italian restaurant and another beer at a bar just a few doors down. It was wonderful. Thankfully, I stopped at two beers for the night. In the past, I would have had four or five on a night like that plus all the food I could stuff into my mouth.

I did not make it to Planet Fitness to exercise on Saturday or Sunday. Instead, with the amazingly warm January weather I was able to get outside without a hat and walk around the neighborhood on Saturday morning. On Sunday afternoon, I went to Fort Harrison State Park and walked for 87 minutes. According to My Fitness Pal, the 87 minute walk was worth a 409 calorie burn. Wow. I was very tired at the end.

My eating over the weekend was in control. Although Friday night’s dinner at the Italian restaurant was expensive in regards to calories. Saturday and Sunday were in control.


Daily Calories

  • Monday 1/16 : 1,140
  • Tuesday 1/17 : 1,210
  • Wednesday 1/18 : 1,555
  • Thursday 1/19 : 1,480
  • Friday 1/20 : 2,166
  • Saturday 1/21 : 1,055
  • Sunday 1/22 : 1,055

My average daily calories for the week of January 16 – 21 was 1,380. That is 230 calories per day below my daily target.

Sunday and Saturday ended up at the same calorie number. Strange, as I did not eat the same things on those days.

My only over-board day was Friday with 2,166 calories. That is 556 calories over my target. But, the dinner was great and the beer was even better.


Exercise

Yay … I was able to exercise 6 days last week. Did the Max Trainer on four days and walked six days. I believe I walked about 13 miles for the week. Not too bad.

I need to get one of those Fit-Bit things or a Garmin to track the miles so I can report accurate numbers.


Blood Pressure

I didn’t take any of my meds on Sunday. So, I worried about my blood pressure this morning. However, it was 118/75 with a 62 resting pulse rate. Wow. In the normal range without the meds. And the heart rate is great at 62. That is the best it’s been since I started.


Looking Forward

The January 23 – 29 week looks to be ‘normal’. There are no dinners or events planned, with exception of one evening. Hopefully I will be able to keep the calories below 1,610 per day and keep moving.

I would like to get to Planet Fitness for a workout. I really need to get there to exercise, not only for my health but also because I pay for a membership. I believe it’s been over a year since I’ve been there. I don’t know what stops me from going? So strange.